Content Marketing

Case Studies vs Testimonials: A Brief Comparison

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 8/02/225 min read
Case Studies vs Testimonials: A Brief Comparison

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • What Is a Case Study?
  • Benefits of a Case Study
  • Examples of Case Studies
  • What Is a Testimonial?
  • Benefits of a Testimonial 
  • Examples of Testimonials
  • Case Study vs Testimonial: What’s the Difference?
  • Can Testimonials Act as Case Studies?
  • Key Takeaways
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

A business flourishes only when it can build trust for its products and services. Although businesses can accomplish this in several ways, getting customer testimonials and case studies reaps the most effective results. Marketers are often found debating the perks of case studies vs testimonials. To be frank, both offer distinct benefits for both businesses and customers. Let’s explore how the two differ from each other, and their purpose for different businesses.

What Is a Case Study?

A case study is a detailed analysis of a problem (or multiple related problems) that consumers face, and the measures a company takes to tackle these. These usually contain a lot of statistics and data to authenticate the claims about the problem and the project’s outcomes. Typically, case studies begin by discussing the problem, followed by the business’ approach to solving that problem, and conclude by stating the exact results.

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Benefits of a Case Study

Since case studies are long, detailed documents, consumers rarely prefer them. Regardless of this, a business that understands the question, “What is a case study?” and continuously works on developing more of these enjoys several advantages over its competitors. They are as follows:

  • Better consumer engagement through interactive storytelling
  • Building better trust by actively promoting case studies through various PR sources
  • Case studies can act as sales pitches to consumers facing similar problems the business has solved.
  • Case studies act as a third-party endorsement for brands.
  • Case studies also help businesses identify brand evangelists and increase conversion rates for customers.

Examples of Case Studies

There are many types of case studies, some being completely graphic, while others are more explanatory and descriptive. Here are examples to help you understand what a good case study looks like.

1. LevelEleven and Staples

This case study by LevelEleven clearly highlights what all they helped their client, Staples, achieve by offering them their services. Statistics back all the facts, and a single image depicts their effectiveness in solving Staples’ concerns about generating effective sales.

2. Strands Retail

The second example of a good case study is the one by Strands Retail for Chewy.com—the former being a brand that sells product recommendation and personalization software to ecommerce businesses. In this case study, they’ve clearly described the issue, the solution, and the end result. The statistics highlighted right at the top are enough to immediately attract a customer’s attention.

3. AdRoll and Yoga Democracy

Tracking visitors and showing them targeted ads across platforms is a highly effective remarketing strategy. AdRoll has clearly depicted this through their case study, where they helped their client Yoga Democracy accomplish surprising results, with a 2X increase in conversions and cost per acquisition (CPA) reduction by 50%. 

What Is a Testimonial?

Testimonials are personal quotes from past clients recommending a business or service, highlighting how it helped them accomplish their goals. These are usually just one or two sentences long, conveying the message right to the point. They are meant to help a brand build a trustworthy reputation online. You can display customer testimonials on your social media pages, different landing pages, in white papers, on email marketing copy, and even on print advertisements.

Benefits of a Testimonial

A business owner must know what a good testimonial is, and proudly display it on their website and social media pages. It helps build customer trust and loyalty. Here are the top benefits of customer testimonials.

  • Testimonials are powerful tools to help build trust in a business.
  • Testimonials help boost clients’ morale and motivate them to enjoy the business’ products or services repetitively.
  • They offer learning opportunities for businesses.
  • Testimonials clearly highlight the benefits of using a business’ products and services.

Examples of Testimonials

On almost every website you visit, or even companies’ social media pages, you’ll find different kinds of testimonials being openly flaunted. Testimonials are available as videos, text, images, or even links to some of their best case-studies. Here are examples that’ll help you quickly identify a testimonial on a website.

1. Quotes

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Quotes are the most common form of testimonials you’ll find on any website or social media page. When using customer quotes as testimonials, make sure to include the user’s designation, company they work at, and photograph to make it look more authentic. 

2. Social media testimonials

The second example displays social media testimonials in a single image. Canva is popular among newbie designers and many others to design beautiful images. And they’ve cleverly highlighted their popular customer opinions and experiences by combining their social media testimonials into a single image.

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3. Video testimonials

As you can see, the business displaying this testimonial has clearly highlighted their client business’ name, name of the person giving the testimonial, and their designation. When getting video testimonials, make sure not to script it and let the interviewee say what they wish to. You can edit the video a bit later for better aesthetics.

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Case Study vs Testimonial: What’s the Difference?

Although case studies and testimonials both help build a brand’s credibility and trust, they are quite different. On one hand, testimonials are quick, to-the-point customer reviews that briefly highlight how a particular brand benefitted a client. On the other hand, case studies describe in detail the problem being solved, the process deployed by the business to solve it, and the results achieved. Testimonials rarely contain facts and figures, but a case study is incomplete without statistics.

Another major difference between case studies and testimonials is that case studies can be used as testimonials, but the latter is rarely turned into a case study. Case studies are perfect for being promoted as featured articles, in proposals, as part of email marketing campaigns, and for a company’s PR campaigns. Testimonials can be promoted easily through almost every medium, be it the landing pages, social media pages, email copy, direct customer response message, or even in a sales pitch.

Can Testimonials Act as Case Studies?

The nature of a testimonial, and the way it is written, usually doesn’t provide enough information for it to be converted into an elaborate case study. However, in the rare case that a client has written comprehensive feedback about your services, products, and the business as a whole—while also citing the problem you solved for them—it can be efficiently turned into a case study. But before you plan to convert a testimonial into a case study, you must explicitly seek the client’s permission by sharing your intentions and purpose.

Key Takeaways

  • Testimonials are the best choice to quickly show people the praises you’ve got from past clients or customers, thus building trust for the brand. 
  • Case studies are more detailed stories that demonstrate a brand’s capability to solve a problem, which is proven by using data and statistics.
  • The choice between a case study vs testimonial lies in each’s applicability. 
  • Since B2B buyers usually spend more than the average customer, they prefer previous customer feedback. And this is easily accomplished through case studies and testimonials.
  • Testimonials are written by happy customers who are satisfied by the product, whereas case studies are written by businesses to highlight their accomplishments.

Conclusion

Now that you know how case studies differ from testimonials, you’ll be easily able to choose the best one the next time a debate between a case study vs testimonial arises. Remember that whichever you use should be relevant to the context of your marketing efforts and sync with your overall goals.

FAQs

1. What is the length of a case study?

Case studies can range anywhere between 500 words and 1500 words. The format comprises an introduction, challenge, solution, process, and the final outcome.

2. Why are business case studies important?

Business case studies help the company’s key stakeholders and the public understand how a business has solved consumer problems. They aid consumers in making better purchasing decisions.

3. What should a customer testimonial include?

An ideal customer testimonial must include the person’s name, designation, company name and a photograph. Including all these aspects add credibility to the testimonial and build trust among new users.

4. What is the meaning of a case study?

Case studies highlight how a business successfully solves a particular problem by detailing the process and solutions presented. It is usually based on factual data, and presented to various company stakeholders.

5. What is a testimonial? 

Testimonials help consumers understand a business’ services, and build credibility and trust among new users. When added to sales pitches, they act as great motivators to expedite a purchasing decision.
 

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